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Legends Letter

March, 2006

 Kathy Weiser

Spring is in the air!!  While it hasn't yet warmed up enough here in Kansas for my taste, it won't be long before I'll be hitting that highway again in search of ghost towns, historic destinations, and lots more tales!


Where are you headed this spring and summer?  If you find a great out of the way place that you think we should write about, let us know!!  How about those wonderful photographs that you take along the way?  If you'd like to see your "name in print" and your photographs shown to the whole wide webworld, just send me an Email!  Heck, I'll even post an entire article, if you get a yen to be a writer.  I love to feature material from our readers.  It provides a little more variety and hey, let's face it, I can't be everywhere!


One place I would really like to start writing about is Alaska.  It's one of only about three states that I've never had the opportunity to visit.  Let me hear from you - send me stuff, give me some ideas.


If you're new to Legends of America, we focus on travel destinations that appeal to the nostalgic and historic minded.  Not really interested in the glitter and glitz of the big cities, we hunt out those places with a little "elbow room," lots of history, and hidden attractions.   


I truly hope you enjoy the newsletter and the website!!


Kathy Weiser, Owner/Editor



"Life doesn't happen along the interstates. It's against the law."


-- William Least Heat Moon, Blue Highways





In this Edition: 


New Additions


Leadville, Colorado - Cloud City, USA


Questions From Our Readers


Featured Book - Complete Idiot's Guide to Ghosts & Hauntings


The Telegraph Passes Into History


Virginia City, Montana - Heart of the Comstock Lode


Coming Next Month:


Focus on the Lawmen

Treasure Tales of California

More Quirky Roadside Stops



New Additions to Legends of America



For our Old West enthusiasts, you will be sure to enjoy our new stories on a couple of little known outlaws including Queho, a Southern Nevada Indian Renegade, who might have started as a little bit of a "bad boy," but probably didn't deserve everything that was blamed on him.  Another obscure "outlaw," by the name of John Turnow, is a tale of murder and treasure in the dense forests of Washington.


And, speaking of Washington Treasure, we've added up a couple more stories including An Anchor in Bellingham Bay, The Infamous Victor Smith & a Tale of Three Lost  Treasures, and More Washington Treasures Just Waiting To Be Found.  Happy hunting!


Always on the lookout for "legends," our Legends, Myths & Campfire Tales of the  American West page has grown to include Pecos Bill - A Legend of the American West; the Bear Lake Utah Sea Monster; The Ark On Superstition Mountains in Arizona; and a tale of Presido, California - The Governor's Right Eye.


As long as we're "talking" the stuff of legends, always have to include something for our paranormal fans - Develop Your Psychic Power! and Angels In Your Life.


The last month has also found me working more on the many historic photographs that we are now offering in our Photo Print Shop.  This is going over very well with a bunch of you and I can't seem to add new vintage photographs fast enough.  Now you will find in addition our popular Saloon Style Photos and Old West Prints, special sections for Native Americans, Historic Cities and Places; and Railroads and Depots.  Not flimsy paper prints, these are real photographs of life in the 19th and early 20th centuries. 


Guess I better mosey on!  Until next month, Happy Travels!!



Featured Travel Destination:  Would you like to showcase your travel destination in the American West?  Be it a city or a place, just click here to see how to make that happen.  If your city has historical value and great places to visit, your town could be featured on our home page and in our newsletter.  Just zap us an Email.




From Legends' General Store

Native American Vintage Photographs Native American Photo Prints  - Vintage photographs of famous chiefs, heroes, and Indian life in the 19th century.





Featured Travel Destination 



Leadville, Colorado -- Cloud City, USA

Leadville, Colorado, often called "The Two Mile High City" and "Cloud City," is the highest incorporated city in the world at 10,430 feet.  Located at the foot of two of Colorado'ss highest peaks - Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive, Leadville is one of America's last remaining authentic mining towns. 

Established in 1859 when gold was discovered in nearby California Gulch, Leadville was once called home to Doc Holliday and the infamous Horace and Baby Doe Tabor.  When silver was discovered in the area, the town boomed and by 1893 the population was almost 60,000, but in the same year it began to die when the United States moved to the gold standard.

In 1895, past its heyday and struggling,  Leadville attempted to attract visitors by building a mammoth Ice Castle to draw sightseers, create jobs and rescue the town's flagging economy.  The biggest ice structure ever built in the United States, the Crystal Castle encompassed 58,000 square feet. 

Today, this historic town is filled with pristine old  buildings, small town hospitality, a host of museums.  Just outside of town is the wonderful Route of the Silver Kings, a gravel trek outside of Leadville that will lead you to a number of abandoned mines and historic buildings.

You can read the whole story of Leadville, Colorado by clicking HERE.






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Featured Guides and Books



The Complete Idiots Guide to Ghosts and Hauntings by Tom OgdenThe Complete Idiot's Guide to Ghosts & Hauntings by Tom Ogden

A unique guide to the world of the paranormal, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Ghosts and Hauntings is a perennial favorite. Now updated, revised, and expanded with new information on ghost hunting and observing, this new edition includes new tips on gathering and recording paranormal data, and a new section devoted to "faking it" showing readers how to haunt their own houses to amuse and bewilder friends.




Bumper Sticker Wisdom


Out of my mind.
Back in five minutes.


Yes, this is my pickup. No, I will not help you move.


I get enough exercise just pushing my luck.


Don't squat with your spurs on.


The Old West


An Era Ends As the Telegraph Passes Into History

After 145 years, one of the last remaining vestiges of the Old West has finally come to an end.  On January 27, 2006, Western Union sent its final telegram.  A sad day, I think, as one more history filled era is forever finished.  And why should this be sad, you might ask.  We must move forward, technology is changing, dots and dashes have long been replaced by ones and zeros.  Be that as it may, this writer thinks it is sad, in the same way it is sad to say goodbye to a loyal employee who has retired after decades of service. 

Without fanfare, the telegrams were "just gone” – no retirement party, no chance to bid our last farewell, no final chance to send one more singing telegram at the last minute, before the news was announced by the press.  Nothing - but a small announcement on Western Union’s website prior to the ending.  Today, their website says not a word about this death of an American tradition - not even a notation in the company’s Historic Timeline.

Think of it - for almost a century and a half, messages of joy, sorrow and success came in those hand-delivered yellow envelopes.  The telegraph changed the world when its first message was sent on May 24, 1844 proclaiming "What hath God wrought!”  With those first words sent by telegraph inventor Samuel Morse, communication sped through the land in way never known before.


An Outhouse Joke

A woman living in a rural area wanted to have an outhouse that wouldn't stink. She advertised it in the local papers for a contractor that could build such a structure.

After some time, a contractor applied for the job and guaranteed that the outhouse would not have any odor. He got the job.

Sometime after completing the construction, the man got a frantic call from the woman, "You'd better get here fast! That outhouse has a terrible smell!"

He rushed over, went to the outhouse, poked his head through the door and exclaimed,

"No wonder it stinks! You pooped in it!"


Ghost Towns



Virginia City, MontanaVirginia City, Montana - Heart of the Comstock Lode -


Perched high in the Rocky Mountains in a bowl along Alder Gulch, Virginia City got its start when gold was discovered in 1863.  It all began when six prospectors were camped along a small stream shaded by alder trees. When one of the prospectors began to find small amounts of gold in his pan, the others immediately joined him and by evening, they had all found enough of the precious metal to know they had made an important strike.


In no time word of the gold find spread and within just months, Alder Gulch was filled with some 10,000 miners living in makeshift shacks, tents, caves, or simply sleeping beneath the trees.


Though the camp was a lawless and violent place filled with desperadoes, rival forces from both sides of the Civil War, and a secret Vigilante Society, it soon gained enough influence to become the Territorial Capital.


However, like many other popular mining camps of the Old West , Virginia City died when the gold began to play out. 


Virginia City is now one of the most preserved "ghost towns” in the American West.  In addition to the more than 200 historic buildings that are preserved for tourists, Virginia City offers a number of events for visitors that include the Heritage Days & Victorian Ball in August, the Virginia City Players’ variety productions at the Opera House, a narrow-gauge railroad, and the Brewery Follies at Montana's first brewery.  Also provided for the some 70,000 visitors who come to Virginia City each year, are museums, shops, restaurants and accommodations.


More ....


What our readers are saying about Legends of America:


:-)Hello - Just stopped by and all I can say is awesome site. I will be coming thru California in May and will stop and see Bodie. Thanks again for the history tour. Your site is class act.
Captain Bob :-B


We were looking for information on hauntings other then the Stanley Hotel, as we live in a cabin on the out skirts of Estes Park, Colorado.  This is how we stumbled upon your website...
Your website is very impressive, thank you... - Susan and Dallas


Your website has given me much information. My husband's great grandmother traveled the Trail of Tears. He is Cherokee and Choctaw. I am so proud of his heritage. - Ashley



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Legends of America


A Travel Guide for the Nostalgic & Historic Minded


28926 Cedar Hill Loop

Warsaw, MO 65355



Kathy Weiser





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